In 1991, as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987, Medicare and Medicaid regulations were amended to require the certification of nurse aides employed by Medicare and Medicaid participating nursing facilities. The purpose of these provisions was to ensure that nurse aides have the education, practical knowledge, and skills needed to care for residents of facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The regulations regarding nurse aides became effective on April 1, 1992.
In New Jersey, the certification process consists of the successful completion of: a ninety-hour state-approved nurse aide in long-term care facilities training course, a practical skills evaluation, a written/oral examination, and a fingerprint-supported criminal background investigation.
New Jersey statutes, as well as pending legislation and chapter laws, can be obtained through the New Jersey Legislature's internet pages. The official versions of rules, rule proposals and notices of adoptions are published in the New Jersey Administrative Code and the New Jersey Register, which are available in most public libraries or on the web. Lexis/Nexis maintains a free website which can be accessed here.
N.J.A.C. 8:39 - "Standards For Licensure of Long-term Care Facilities" contains the section dealing with the reimbursement of nurse aide fees.
In accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:39-43.18 (d), no nurse aide who is employed by, or who has received an offer of employment from a long term care facility on the date on which the aide begins a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program may be charged for any portion of the program, including any fees for textbooks or other required course materials.
In accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:39-43.18 (e), if a nurse aide who is not employed, or who does not have an offer to be employed, as a nurse aide becomes employed by, or receives an offer from, a licensed long term care facility not later than 12 months after completing a nurse aide training and competency evaluation program, the facility shall provide for the reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred in completing the program on a pro rata basis during the period in which the individual is employed as a nurse aide. Such costs include, but are not limited to, fees for textbooks or other required course materials. You should retain the original receipts and present them to the long-term care facility upon employment.
In accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:39-43.18 (g), no nurse aide shall be required, as a condition of employment, to pay the cost of the training program in the event of voluntary or involuntary termination of employment.
You may call the New Jersey Department of Health Certification Program at 866-561-5914 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and guidance.